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Korea prepares midnight curfew for MMO-playing teens. 'Straight to bed without supper' clause unconfirmed

The Korean Culture Ministry has had enough of people becoming addicted to online games and dying in internet cafes. We would too. Its answer is to nip potential addiction cases in the bud by imposing a curfew on under-16s who play MMOs after midnight. After a one-month trial through June, a 12am-6am curfew will be put into full effect in July.

According to South Korean newspaper Korea Times, it's reckoned that 87% of the country's 100 most popular online games will be affected, leaving educational titles and online games from smaller and medium-sized companies unblocked.

Admittedly, Korea does seem to be the source for many of the more horrific cases of MMO addiction, such as the man who played Starcraft for 50 hours in an internet café, non-stop, until his heart gave up from exhaustion. 

But is a six-hour enforced break for teens really the answer? And don't Korean mums pull the plug out of the wall like ours did?

Source: KoreaTimes

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9 comments

  • Pacific - May 31, 2012 6:01 p.m.

    Most kids play the games in 'PC rooms' (massively popular, they are on every street) many of which are open 24 hours. The kids say they are staying at a friends house studying, etc. etc.
  • Cyberninja - May 31, 2012 1:26 p.m.

    This really should go into effect for everyone, every problem story I have ever heard about Korea concerning games is about adults not children.
  • Hydr0ponicK - May 31, 2012 12:25 p.m.

    Social Darwinism can not be stopped...no matter the laws, dumb people will find ways to kill themselves in dumb fashion.
  • funster - May 31, 2012 10:17 a.m.

    I'm sick of all the idiots who wonder why parents aren't more involved every time a subject like this crops up. If even 5% of the teenage population (South Korea is a country of 49 million) had 'imperfect parents', that could still translate to hundreds of thousands of juvenile delinquents. Some parents have trouble controlling their kids, some don't care, some don't understand the situation, some may be too distracted... there are many possibilities as to why the parents may not be doing their job.
  • Omrikon - May 31, 2012 9:55 a.m.

    Apparently the kids figured out how to turn them back on, so the government had to get involved. I wonder what effect this will have on the Starcraft 2 leaderboards.
  • Tjwoods18 - May 31, 2012 8:11 a.m.

    Why would you set 50 hours just to play one game? My butt would give out about 3 hours in.
  • azzam - May 31, 2012 7:53 a.m.

    well, you definitely can't blame the government. when the young citizens of your country, the ones who are literally the country's treasure and who will lead your country in the future, gets too addicted to gaming, to the point of forgetting their health and families, damn you better do something radical, or risk destroying your country's future. this is a nationwide problem in Korea, and while there's still a gaming addiction among the country's youths, i'd say go for it.
  • wingsdjy - May 31, 2012 7:34 a.m.

    It's kind of sad that the government feels it has to step up and parent these kids. Where are the parents? My games would get turned off for me if I tried playing too late (9PM not midnight).
  • wcatdoor - May 31, 2012 2:25 p.m.

    I think it's safe to say that a great amount of the kids they are targeting play video games even when they are tired. The point being that these kids don't set strict restrictions on themselves, and so the government feels the need to step in. The role of the government is to protect it's people and their well being, and in this case they feel that (some) parents are not setting strong guidelines for their children. Logically it makes sense to me, but I am unable to come to a conclusion on what effect it will bring.

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